16 July 2014: A local church-goer is embarking on a 1000 mile cycle ride to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta and to raise funds to support All Saints Church in Odiham.
Steve Brown, husband of local vicar Alison Brown, will be raising money for the church’s ‘Project Warm Welcome’, hoping sponsorship will help the parish in Odiham adapt the historic church building so that it can better be used by the community. The parish is aiming to raise at least £250,000 to replace the heating system and install new flooring and seating.
To mark the forthcoming 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, Steve will be trailblazing the Magna Carta trail to deliver manuscripts of a specially commissioned Magna Carta anthem to churches and cathedrals across England. Steve’s route will take him to the five ‘charter towns’ where the original copies of the Magna Carta were taken, as well as through other towns and cities where early copies of the document were kept. Setting off from Odiham on 21 July, he will cycle all the way to Durham, passing through Salisbury, Oxford, Lincoln and Canterbury along the journey before he returns home on 9 August.
Odiham played an important role in the sealing of the original charter and the creation of English democracy. On 10 June 1215 King John left the town for Windsor and agreed the Articles of Barons (the first draft) at Runnymede the same day. He returned to Odiham on 26 July and a translation of Magna Carta into French was attested here the next day.
All Saints parish in Odiham has commissioned a local man, Malcolm Archer, Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College to write the anthem to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the charter.
“I am looking forward to taking on this cycling challenge, travelling across the UK to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. As a local resident in Odiham, it is good to be part of the celebrations marking our town’s link with the birth of English democracy. I look forward to the people I will be meeting along the route and also hope people will give generously so that our church in Odiham can continue to welcome people in the years to come.”
For further information please contact the Diocese of Winchester communications team on 020 7618 9197 or email email@example.com.
The attached photograph shows Steve Brown on his bike in Odiham.
Steve will be visiting the following towns during his bike-ride:
8. Langton by Wragby
9. Bury St Edmunds
10. St Albans
11. Runnymede (Wraysbury & Egham)
12. London (Temple, Mansion House, Westminster,)
Steve’s cycle ride has been supported by the Chair of the Magna Carta 800th Committee, Deputy Chairman of the Magna Carta Trust & Chairman of the Magna Carta 2015 800th Anniversary Commemoration Committee, Sir Robert Worcester. See here for further information about the Magna Carta Trust.
The anthem is based on a prayer written by Archbishop Langton. Langton was Archbishop at the time of Magna Carta in 1215, and one of the principal signatories.